Welcome to the Wikiversity learning project about how to upload files to Wikiversity.
This page is designed for wiki editors who are just learning about how to upload files. If you are already familiar with uploading files to Wikimedia projects, you can go directly to Wikiversity:Uploading files.
Differences between adding text and adding files
Wikiversity provides two ways for participants to contribute content to the Wikiversity website.
1) You can use the edit this page button to add text to wiki pages.
- When you use the "edit this page" button and add text to wiki pages, you assert that you are not violating copyright and you agree to license your text under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL).
2) You can use the upload page to upload several types of files such as images and audio files.
When you upload files there are multiple licensing options available, so the process for adding files can be more complex than the process for adding text. However, if the file(s) you upload contains content created by you, then you can just indicate that fact and select the GFDL as the license for your file(s). If this is the case, you can go directly to the upload page and use the licensing drop-down menu to select the menu item for "my own work" and "GNU Free Documentation License".
Other options for licensing uploaded files are described in detail in the other sections of this page, below.
Additional reading: The GFDL and you.
Questions and discussion
Other copyleft licenses
The Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license is very similar to the GFDL. Copyright law allows an author to control what other people do with the author's work. For example, if you write a story, copyright laws can be used to limit the ability of others to sell copies of your story. However, a copyright holder can use legally binding licenses to give permission to some people to copy a copyrighted work in a specific way, for example, exchanging the right to distribute copies of a story in exchange for payments to the author. Copyleft is a way of using copyright law to eliminate possible restrictions on how a copyrighted work is copied and used by others. The GFDL is a copyleft license.
When you edit a Wikiversity webpage, you automatically grant other people to right to copy and modify and re-use what you wrote because you agree to license what you wrote under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Every Wikiversity edit page says, "You agree to license your contributions under the GFDL," in the small space between the text editing window and the "save button". The Creative Commons attribution-shareAlike license is also a copyleft license. Some people prefer the Creative Commons attribution-shareAlike license over the GFDL. At Wikiversity you can decide to license your files under either the GFDL or the Creative Commons attribution-shareAlike license.
As discussed at The GFDL and you, the GFDL and the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license do impose some restrictions on re-use of a licensed work. These licenses specify that authors should get attribution for their work and that works should always remain under a copyleft license. In contrast, works in the Public Domain can be re-used without these restrictions. Public Domain works are freely available for anyone to use for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
In the United States, it is sometimes acceptable to make use of copyrighted works according to the doctrine of "fair use". In thinking about fair use at Wikiversity, the basic idea is that sometimes the educational mission of Wikiversity can be advanced by quoting copyrighted text (or including parts of copyrighted works in uploaded files) without doing harm to the interests of the copyright holder. See: Fair use considerations for details.
Since the GFDL or the Creative Commons attribution-shareAlike license are so similar, some people who support copyleft licensing simply dual license their work under both licenses. This allows other people who may have a preference for just one of these licenses to re-use your work under the terms of the license they prefer.
It makes no sense to try to assert that a work is both Public Domain and licensed under a copyleft license such as the GFDL. Making a work available in Public Domain is not compatible with the restrictions imposed by a copyleft license like the GFDL. Specifically, Public Domain works in some countries can be copied and re-used without giving attribution to the creator(s) of the works.